A Selection of Websites for Writers

The Write Life is a good site go get to know. It includes many excellent resources for writers. Here’s their 2020 list of websites. When you have time, cruise around and see which ones fit your needs.

https://thewritelife.com/best-websites-for-writers-2020/

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

A Shaky Reading

On Sunday afternoon I went to a poetry reading. When I stood up to do my thing, Both my voice and knees began to shake.

What was going on? I performed as a storyteller every day in the school library for seven years. Then I remembered. That was thirty years, almost a lifetime, ago.

We all live so many lives. (I know if I walked up to my younger self, I’d scare the pants off her.)

The poem I botched on Sunday was from a sequence of dramatic monologues I wrote when we were living in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Yes, LA does have distinct neighborhoods. I’ll tell you more about them another time.)

I composed the piece in the late eighties or early nineties for a group of actors who teamed up with the Arroyo Arts Collective to do cold readings of local authors’ poems, short stories, and novel excerpts. The title was “The Marriage Bed.”

Mostly invented, the sequence drew on things that happened even earlier in my life, in the mid-sixties.

I was nineteen. I’d just run away and married my husband, a guy I’d dated a month.

On our first morning together the phone rang. One of my husband’s friends, Jim Ashley, lived in Ouray, a tiny nineteenth-century mining town in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. He worked for the Idorado Mine, the village’s economic engine.

The afternoon before, Jim had stepped on a rotten board just inside the mine entrance and plummeted down through a dark vertical tunnel all the way from the Red Mountain entrance to the Telluride entrance, hundreds of feet.

I didn’t know Jim, but that secondhand experience drilled itself into my mind. Every so often I fall into it, just as I did on Sunday.

There was one more layer to my shaky reading. After its first, last, and only cold performance by the Arroyo Arts Collective players, “The Marriage Bed” disappeared into my files. I made a few half-hearted attempts to send it out, but knew it was destined to be one of those things I did just for myself. (There are a LOT of those.)

Then I saw a call for an anthology in Coda (which later became Poets and Writers.) It was for ghost poems. The voice in one of the monologues in The Marriage Bed, “Frank,” was a ghost, the long-dead father of the husband in the story.   I sent it.

It was accepted. I’d forgotten about the book, Ghost of a Chance,  until Sunday. Looking at it, I was amazed. There I was, hired-gun ed writer, with Rita Dove, Billy Collins, and others famous for their poetry.

Then I remembered, huddling in the back seat of my dad’s ’41 Chevy, playing with the sounds of words. I must have been two or three.

We live so many lives. So many layered lives. Sharing them with others can be a shaky experience, but we only have the stage for a few minutes, so why not?

 

 

 

If You Ever Hit a Wall With Your Writing, This is For You

Here’s a great post from The Write Practice blog to help relight your writing pilot light, especially if you are a professional with deadlines.

How to Fall In Love With Writing Again.

An interview with Harold Underdown

Harold Underdown talks about Middle Grade novels and more in this insightful interview.

An interview with independent editor Harold Underdown – and a giveaway! | From the Mixed-Up Files….

5 Unexpected Lessons From Inside the Iowa Writers’ Workshop | WritersDigest.com

Here’s an inspiring post from the Writer’s Digest site. Remember why you wanted to be a writer. Aim for the stars.

5 Unexpected Lessons From Inside the Iowa Writers’ Workshop | WritersDigest.com.

Put Forth Your Very Best: Revise

Thoughts on revision. You are not alone. It is depressing. It is, however, (in most cases) what separates authors from hobby scribblers. By the way, this is an excellent blog for YA writers.

WOW Wednesday: S.T. Underdahl on Revising When Your Head and Your Heart Agree.

Don’t Let Rejections Keep You from Writing or Submitting

I haven’t been rejected much lately, but just because I haven’t submitted much. I’m still working on my novel and I have a terrific assignment.

I’ve looked at my old picture book manuscripts, and most of them just don’t work for the current market. I have a new one that’s close, but I won’t have time to work on it this week.

Anyway, back to rejections. Everybody who sends work out gets them, even famous award-winning writers. I’ve come across some great posts on the subject that are worth sharing.

Thursdays with Amanda: Rejections Don’t Determine Your Worth as a Writer | Chip MacGregor .com.

Be a Confident Writer

I have learned so much since I started collecting and sharing blog posts here on One Way to Wonder. Writers are so generous on the Internet. As author Kristen Lamb points out in her blog, so are business gurus and publicity people. In this practical essay, she points out things confident and successful writers don’t do. Warning: you may blush.

7 Things Confident Writers Don’t Do | Kristen Lamb’s Blog.

Writing Advice: Take What Fits You and Leave the Rest

On this blog, I offer links to all sorts of writing advice. Here is some solid information from Susan Adrian about how to use what is offered.

Susan Adrian: Notes on Writing Advice.